A illegitemate child is born.The child given for adoption into a muslim home.After several years the child finds out who the biological parents are.What is the childs status in Islam?How does inheritance work in this case?What is the child’s rights towards the biological parents and the adoptive parents?
1. There are many situations where a child would be classified as illegitimate.
a. If a child is born within and before six months of the marriage, the child is illegitimate. If the child was born after six months of the marriage, then this child will not be regarded illegitimate even though the mother committed Zina and was conceived before the marriage. Zina is a major sin which incurs the wrath of Allah for which a person must sincerely repent. If a child is born out of wedlock, this child to a greater extent would be illegitimate.
b. An illegitimate child will not inherit from the father as the Shari?ah does not recognise his lineage.
c. Similarly, the child will not inherit from the adopting parents as well as they are not his Shar’ee heirs or vice versa. Yes, they may make a bequest upto 1/3 of their total assets in favour of the adopted child.
d. Understand from the outset that Islam and Deen has ordered us to respect our parents even if they be disbelievers. Many virtues and warnings have been mentioned as to the obedience and disobedience of parents respectively. Nabi [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam] had an adopted son by the name of Zayd ibn Haarith. Nabi [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] loved him a lot and Zayd [Radhiallahu anhu] also loved Nabi [Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam]. Therefore, one should respect both, i.e. biological as well as adoptive parents.
e. In Islam, an illegitimate child will not inherit from the father nor will Nafaqah be established, i.e. expenses for the child will not be binding on the father for the child. Similarly, his Imaamat, i.e. performing Salaat will also be disliked and in these cases where people will look at him negatively.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai